Fight over renewable energy mandate not over

Recycle001Michigan utilities have met a target of generating one-tenth of the state’s electricity using wind, solar, and other renewable resources. There’s a new goal, but that could be challenged this year in the Legislature.

An energy package adopted last year sets a new 15 percent goal. And a report by the Michigan Public Service Commission says utilities are well positioned to meet the target.

But the renewable mandate has its critics. They include Republican state Representative Gary Glenn. He chairs the House Energy Committee. He says the move toward using renewables should be driven by the marketplace, not government policy.

“Our general philosophy is the free market ought to decide. Let people invest, let people build as they see fit because they think there’s a need from which they might be able to make a profit.”

The report says the cost of using wind to generate electricity has dropped dramatically in recent years.